Tag Archives: vampires

Cinnamon bun vampire and a Russian mobster – yes please!

68007237Johann by Grae Bryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For me, the mark of a good series is that each time I finish a book in it, it becomes my favourite and this is exactly what’s happened here.

I’ve been dying to get Jay’s story ever since the little vampire with the sunshiny outlook on life and a sweetness that makes you want to wrap him in cotton wool even though he’s actually super strong and could rip your head off 😄

Of course, Jay’s cinnamon bun appearance actually hides a vulnerability that stems from his creation, when he was stolen away from his aunt and uncle’s farm aged just 19 and without any life experience and moulded into the perfect companion for a much older female vampire.

He’s learned to be quiet, do as he’s told and never cause any trouble, which means he’s lacking a lot of the nuances which come from a less sheltered life.

Which, of course, is why his fated mate just happens to be a Russian mobster on the run from his brother after he deliberately cost him millions by throwing a deal!

What follows is an absolute delight as Alexei discovers he quite likes cuddling when it’s Jay he’s squished up next to and Jay realises that when Alexei is telling him how good he is and how much he likes the little tasks he does for him, it means he no longer feels like he’s a bother.

The praise kink coupled with the sexual exploration, as Jay is a virgin, made this one all ends up hot but with the added depth of there being such a deep emotional connection between them.

It’s also quietly sarcastic and snarky as all the others have been which appeals very much to my sense of humour, and it has plenty of action outside of the romance to bring additional interest and, speaking of…

What a way to introduce the main players in book four! I wasn’t not expecting that and the little comment Grae left in the author note at the end had me laughing my head off. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet but I have to say, I’m also dying to find out the answer too!

#ARC kindly received from the author via GRR, I am voluntarily leaving a review

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A spectacular adrenaline rush ending to Cristian and Atlas’ story

59917837._SY475_Imitate the Dawn by M.A. Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, just OMG!

This did not go where I was expecting it to and bravo to M.A. Grant for completely blindsiding me to how she was going to draw Atlas and Cristian’s story to a close.

There is so much tension in this book that from the off the adrenaline is racing, heart pounding and head rapidly trying to work out just what is going to happen next. The gang is on the defensive from the off following that MAJOR cliffhanger at the end of book two.

And, I mean, I’m still reeling from that revelation so I was desperate to see just how Cristian was going to deal with a betrayal of such magnitude.

You’ll get zero plot spoilers from me in this review because it’d would utterly ruin the effect of what happens in this story (obvious right?!) but let me just say that I never saw it coming, ever, never in a million years.

But it’s such a flipping brilliant way to conclude what’s been a quite outstanding paranormal series from an author who is a must-buy for me.

All the necessary people get their just deserts and our beautiful pairing are solid as a rock as the narrative draws to a close. I know this series is technically over now, but I have to say, I would die for more books from this world.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Double Exposure by Anne Barwell

Double Exposure | Anne Barwell

Pōneke Shadows #1

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Release Date: July 11th, 2022

Publisher: LaceDragon Publishing

Cover Artist: T.L. Bland

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 73,000 words / 179 pages

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Blurb

Vampires and werewolves live long lives. The Sleepless City saga might have ended but the story continues…

Someone is hunting supernaturals.

Vampire Simon Hawthorne and his human partner Ben Leyton’s plans for a peaceful holiday with family are hijacked by the New Zealand Supernatural Council.

Tensions are on the rise in Wellington. Supernatural councillors are disappearing. Werewolves are suspicious of anyone human or vampire. If they don’t work together, their enemy has already won.

And no one with a connection to the supernatural world is safe.

It’s the first in a spin-off series of The Sleepless City and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Rupert looked mildly affronted. “I am not in hiding. The council were trying to get me involved, and I make a point of not getting mixed up in their politics, whatever the cost, considering that cost is usually too high for anyone but them.”

“You’re hiding from the council?” Ben asked. “I can understand that. They hijacked Simon’s delivery at Auckland airport, then blackmailed him into helping them.”

“If this is supposed to surprise me, you’re a few centuries late with that titbit of information,” Rupert said. “I have yet to meet a council I enjoyed doing business with. Though there was that group of werewolves in rural Japan a couple of hundred years ago that—”

“Why are you here?” Simon cut Rupert off before he could start on one of his stories. Although neither he nor Marion would admit it, they shared a predilection for embellishing stories about their pasts.

Rupert fished a large envelope from his pocket and handed it to Simon. “This is the information I have, but it’s not a lot. They cover their tracks well, apart from that massacre in Brisbane nearly ten years ago. There is someone in Wellington who provides a safe haven to anyone in our community who asks for it. Nothing much happens in the area that Elard doesn’t know about. You should talk to him.”

“You’re not going to help?” Ben asked

“Heavens, no.” Rupert raised an eyebrow. “At least Simon knows better than to ask that.”

“Rupert’s better at staying in the shadows and orchestrating things from afar. If we need help, I’m sure he’ll be there…” Simon glanced at Rupert. “… but only on his own terms. I’d ask him to join our team, but it would be a waste of time.”

“Totally a waste of time.” Rupert grinned and nodded towards both of them in turn. “Now, I must be off. I’ll be in touch. Watch yourselves, gentlemen. I don’t enjoy funerals.” He blurred towards the door. It opened, then closed behind him, and then he was gone.

“He’s kind of how I remember him, but not,” Ben said slowly.

“The not, would be because you didn’t know what he was then. He’s not hiding it now, though he’s never completely upfront about anything.” Simon emptied the envelope, took a pile of neatly typewritten sheets to read, and gave the rest to Ben to look through. “Rupert’s always had his own agenda. It’s how he’s managed to survive so long.”

“Uh-huh.” Ben shook the papers he held. “There’s something loose in here.” A small card fell to the floor. He picked it up and his eyes widened. “It’s a business card, so guessing it’s Elard’s.”

“And?” Simon asked, knowing there must be an ‘and’.

“He’s a Catholic priest.” Ben read the words on the card out loud. “Fr Elard Reith, St Ansgar’s Parish, Newtown. We help those who ask.” He groaned. “Oh great, I was hoping to avoid Uncle Martin while I was here.”

“Uncle Martin?” Simon asked. Ben had mentioned him once or twice, but he’d got the impression Ben’s father’s brother wasn’t that close to the rest of the family.

“Yeah. He lives across the road from St Ansgar’s and always acts like he knows stuff the rest of us don’t.”

“Perhaps he does.” Simon got up to pour some more tea.

“I hope not.” Ben didn’t look happy. “It’s starting to feel like however hard we try to keep my family out of all this, fate is making damn sure they keep barging in.”

About the Author

Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. Anne works in a library, is an avid reader and watcher of a wide range of genres, and is constantly on the look-out for more hours in her day.

She likes to write in series and even so called one shots seem to breed more plot bunnies. Her writing is like her reading – across a range of genres, although her favourites are paranormal, fantasy, SF, and historical. Music often plays a part in her stories and/or her characters are musicians.

She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Her books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.

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